Also known as a semi-vegetarian diet, the flexitarian diet is typically plant-based but also has the inclusion of some occasional meat.
The diet is frequently used as a segue between meat-based and fully plant-based diets, as it encourages followers to transition to vegetarianism or veganism at their own pace, rather than all at once. It has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent years, as people have tried to reduce their carbon footprint and eat less meat was a whole.
A Very Recent Term
Though the basic idea behind flexitarianism isn’t anything that’s necessarily new, it wasn’t until the 2010s that the term actually started to come into use and gain popularity. It was noted as a mainstream word by 2012, though other synonyms such as “reducetarianism” and “Demi-vegetarianism” had been used for at least 10 years prior to this.
The diet isn’t necessarily traced back to any one individual, but rather has a wide variety of potential sources. Some people will adopt the diet for weight management, health reasons, animal rights issues, environmental issues, or for religious purposes.
Most of the people following the diet are those who are just trying out vegetarian or plant-based lifestyles for the first time or those who are looking to experiment with different ways to lose weight.
Reducing Meat Consumption
The main way to follow the flexitarian diet is to reduce the consumption of meat. This isn’t just about limiting the number of days per week meat is eaten; in most cases, it means that people will stop eating certain types of meat or animal products entirely.
For example, one version of a flexitarian diet may include occasional fish or chicken, but will never include pork or red meats.
The diet can be modified for the needs of an individual. As noted, one of the great things about this diet is that it makes the idea of going plant-based more accessible for people who have considered meat to be a meal-time staple throughout their lives.
With the flexitarian diet, followers are encouraged to go at their own pace in the reduction of the meat they eat.
An Environmentally Conscious Diet
Flexitarianism has grown more popular recently with more information coming out about the state of our planet’s climate. Environmentalists and animal rights activists alike have, in the last 5 years, started campaigning for people to start living flexitarian lifestyles if they’re not ready to take the plunge towards fully plant-based living.
Everything In Moderation
Something to keep in mind about the flexitarian diet is that it’s important to slowly go from higher portions of meat to fewer portions per week, rather than completely cutting meat from your diet.
The Popularity Of Flexitarianism
Christie Brinkley is one celebrity who follows a flexitarian diet. While most of the foods she eats are vegan, she describes herself as a flexitarian because of the small amounts of meat and cheese that she does eat with various meals.
Brinkley has said that being on the diet has given her much more energy, and has even helped her look and feel younger. In addition to the diet, she follows a regular exercise routine.
An Accessible Diet
The flexitarian diet is one that is simple to try because it involves the slow removal of meat products from one’s diet. This easily modified eating plan is one that everyone can try!